With the exception of child custody, family law cases are largely about financial issues – child support, postseparation support, alimony, and identification, classification, evaluation, and distribution of marital and divisible property. Depending on the issues in your case, your attorney may recommend that you retain a qualified accountant to assist with certain aspects of your divorce. Accountants who are certified public accountants, forensic accountants, and business valuators can provide a wide range of financial services incident to divorce, including the following:
- Perform a business valuation;
- Calculate the marital and separate components of co-mingled or “mixed” assets and debts;
- Perform tracing of separate assets (and debts) to their origin;
- Perform tax calculations associated with paying or receiving postseparation support and alimony;
- Determine tax implications that may be associated with the distribution of marital property;
- The marital and separate components of any income taxes refunded or due;
- Perform forensic examination of finances to look for hidden assets;
- Provide post–divorce financial planning, including assistance with budgeting and debt restructuring.
The contributions of an accountant can be invaluable to your case. The examinations and reports of an accountant can provide the parties and attorneys with a clearer picture of financial matters which can facilitate a more equitable resolution between the parties, regardless of whether the parties negotiate a settlement or go to trial.
An accountant that is retained as an expert witness may be called to testify at a deposition or trial. The credible testimony of an accountant expert witness can have a considerable impact on the outcome of your case and the results your attorney is able to achieve.
This article is for information purposes only and is not to be considered or substituted as legal advice. The information in this article is based on North Carolina state laws in effect at the time of posting.